1997 Course Information

Instructor: Professor Jim Kurose
Office: A329 Graduate Research Center
Office Hours: email only during summer/fall 1997
Phone: 413-545-1585, 413-545-2744
FAX: 413-545-1249
e-mail: kurose@cs.umass.edu

Content: This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts in the design and implementation of computer communication networks, their protocols, and applications. Topics to be covered include: layered network architectures, applications, network programming interfaces (e.g., sockets), transport, congestion, routing, and data link protocols, local area networks, network security, network management, and emerging high-speed networks. Examples will be drawn primarily from the Internet (e.g., TCP, UDP, and IP) protocol suite. There will be four or five written assignments, three programming assignments (in C), one midterm and a final exam.

This course will be lectured to both graduate and undergraduate students. Students enrolled for graduate-level credit will be required to complete additional homework problems (generally a superset of those assigned to undergraduates) and additional readings from the literature.

Teaching assistants: TA information including contact information, available separately.


  1. A rudimentary understanding of computer architecture and operating systems, while not required, would be helpful.
  2. You must be able to program in a structured high-level programming language, line PASCAL or C. Programming assignments will be in C/UNIX.

Course Materials:

  1. Text: Computer Networks, Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Prentice Hall, 3rd edition, 1996.
  2. Assigned readings from magazines, manuals, and the WWW; this material will be placed on reserve in the Physical Sciences library, and made avilable to off campus students.
  3. Class Notes: Class notes (highly recommended) will be posted on the class WWW site (see "On-line materials" below"). If you want to purchase a hardycopy of the notes (rather than printing them yourself, which wouldn't cost you anything), contact the Video Instructional Program at 413-545-0063.
  4. On-line materials. A WWW site is maintained for the course.
    Web site: http://gaia.cs.umass.edu/cs653-1997.
    Everything that is handed out in class is posted on this WWW site. The site is full of lots of useful other information including student questions and replies, class notes, old, exams, and the audio of all in-class lectures (see below). Check out and use this site!

    A broadcast class email address, cs653@cs.umass.edu, has been created. If you send mail to this address, it will be broadcast to the 150 or so students in the class, so please use it wisely and carefully. I will use it to broadcast information of interest to everyone. You might want to use it to broadcast a question, or give a pointer to material that you think will be of general interest. See documentation about how to add/delete yourself from the class broadcast email list.

    There is a new on-line aspect to the course. A recording of the audio each class lecture, sychronized with the playout of the html overheads/class notes is available via the class WWW page for each in-class lecture. You can view/listen using a standard WWW browser with a free Real-Audio plugin. Listen to the actual in-class audio, synchronized to the display of class notes from the comfort of your own home, dorm room, or office.


CourseworkTiming Approx % of grade
Assigned readingsweekly
Written homeworks4 assignments/semester 25%
1.5 weeks each (approx).
Programming Assignments3 programs 25%
2 weeks each
Midterm Exammidsemester 20%
Final Examafter last class 30%